The first Friday each month, a number of shops and residences in el centro open for visits. It is well organized with a map with numbers on the map and a large sign in front of each house/shop indicating they are part of the organization of the art walk.
This time we visited a number of shops with friends that we had not had a chance to visit on prior visits. It included a few private homes, which are renovated old 19 century colonial homes. It was well worth the visit.
We finished our visit with dinner at Cavot de Leon Restaurant il El Centro.
On Christmas eve with had a few friends over for drinks and food. We had a blast and the evening went by rather fast. The Next day we had dinner aboard s/v Babeeze with Eva, Rene and friends. She had cooked a traditional turkey which was absolutely delicious. We all contributed something to the dinner and it was frankly a huge success.
A few days later we were invited to dinner aboard s/v August Moon and friends and following great food we all played Mexican Train which is one of the favorite pass time of cruisers.
Agustine who is 70 years old is retiring today, from the Mazatlan Public Transportation Commission. He was a dispatcher and we befriended him over the last year.
Every time we took a bus near Marina El Cid, he was there and Lynne never missing an opportunity to speak Spanish, conversed with him frequently. Over time we became attached to him. He did not speak any English.
We were told yesterday by a co-worker of his, by the name of Vicki, that today was his last day of work.
We were at the bus terminal this morning to bid our farewell and offer our best wishes for a great retirement. He was touched by the small gift and card we braught for him. Vicki and Lynne gave him the big hug he deserved.
Farewell Old Friend...thank you for your friendship and have a long, healthy and happy retirement.
12/17/2011, Marina Fonatur
Our French friends Gisele and Alain of s/v Dancing Dolphin, left yesterday morning at 08:30, bound for La Cruz, 172 miles south of here.
We were together nearly every day and we will miss them. We have known them for almost one year and we kept running into each other as we cruised the Sea of Cortez.
They flew in from France two years ago to purchase a 1964 Hudson 50 made in Taiwan. It is a gorgeous boat as can be seen in the photo gallery. This of course is a labor of love, as she needs a lot of repairs, upgrades and maintenance. But she is beautiful and very spacious.
Hopefully, we will run into each other again as we ourselves sail South in early February.
12/16/2011, Marina Mazatlan
Saturday afternoon at 15:00, a group of some 25 children age 3 to 17, from the Salvation Army Orphanage, gave their annual performance to the fleet. The venue was the roof top of the Marina Mazatlan office.
The show lasted over an hour and featured folkloric dances from the states of Sinaloa (here) and other surrounding states like Nayarit to the south of us. The costumes we very colorful and their performance very good.
The show was attended by some 60 sailors and we donated 18,000 pesos to keep the orphanage going. It is private with no government subsidies. They give dancing performances to gather the necessary funds to cover their expenses.
Please visit our photo gallery to see the pictures we have taken of the event.
To say that we had a great time with Peter during his one week visit to Mazatlan, would be an understatement. For those who know Peter, it will come as no surprise that he could be called "Mr. 220 volts".
He is very energetic, likes partying and enjoys life to the fullest. He is also a great entertainer, very kind and generous. We lived with him for one week, and by the time he left last Thurday, Lynne and I were totally exausted and very sad to see him leave.
On his flight in, Peter befriended a Fijian couple, Pushpa and Ramendra Kumar, both of Indian descent. We met them at the airport and saw them frequently at the Hotel. They would come in to the room for a few drinks before dinner and we often had dinner together. They were an added bonus to the great week we had.
Wednesday we came to Taya from the resort and he cooked a "Chicken Curry" which was to die for. We had Marni & Peter over to enjoy that awsome lunch, which we all enjoyed.
They had met Peter in Vancouver this past summer to pick up several items we had purchased on the internet and had shipped to Peter's house. We had a great time together and time flew.
We have been in bed early since last Thursday, getting up at about 08:00 every morning. We are beginning to feel great again.
Thanks again dear friend for a great time together...it was just too short.
Our friend Peter Bola booked a tour of Copala, for the three of us, which is an old mining town, located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, some 67 kilometers North East of Mazatlan.
On our way there we stopped at the Pueblo of Malpica (Village). We visited an authentic bakery, in operation for over 40 years, and located in the family home of the baker. We purchased and ate hot bread which was delicious. We also visited a tile factory, where we saw a hand made demonstration of the processes involved in making floor and wall tiles.
We than proceeded to the Pueblo (village) of Concordia, where Peter and I purchased some pure silver jewellery at a great price, following hard bargaining. We also visited a furniture factory, where furniture is hand made out of mango tree wood.
From there we went to the Pueblo of Copala, an old silver/gold mining town, now living of tourism. The town boasts a population of 700 people. We ate a delicous mexican lunch at Daniel's Restaurant.
From there, we returned to Mazatlan after a 1:30 minute bus ride. We had a great day and were very tired and sleepy when we got back to our hotel.
This was a very well organized and worthwhile trip, which we highly recommend.
11/17/2011, Riu Hotel & Resort - Emerald Bay
Peter Bola, a long time friend from Vancouver, arrived in Mazatlan today for one week. We picked him up at the Rafael Buelna Airport. The reunion was emotional and heart warming, as he was missed by both Lynne and I. The last time we saw him, was the day prior to our departure from our marina in Richmond, British Colombia, on July 31 2010. He had come in for our last goodbyes.
Transportation to his hotel was included in his package, and so we joined him for the free ride to the five star Riu Hotel & Resort of Emerald Bay, Cerritos, Mazatlan.
Upon arrival, we were impressed with the beauty and location of this 3 year old resort. We returned home by taxi shortly before midnight. It had been a memorable day.
We will be spending every day with him, using the bus in the morning and taxi in the evening to commute to and from Taya. We plan on taking Peter on a tour of Mazatlan next Saturday, via a pulmonia (open air taxi), as well as taking a tour of the historic Colonial Village of Copala, later this week.
It did not take long before we reconnected with old friends. After resting for a few days, we met with Gisele and Alain from s/v Dancing Dolphin, Eva and Rene from s/v Babeeze, Marnie and Peter from s/v Two Pieces of Eight, Michelle and Tim from s/v Bamboo, Pam and Tom from s/v Kewao. We paid our respects to Linda and Orlando of s/v Cuba Libre, Ron from s/v Caliope, Debbie and Lynn from s/v Dolphin Tales. Hope we did not forget any body. We were very happy to see them all, after 8 months in the Sea of Cortez.
Last evening we went for dinner at the very nice Casa Loma Restaurant, located in New Mazatlan. The photos I took do not do the place justice. It is in fact very nice and inviting.
We joined Connie and Ed from s/v Sirena, Larry and Karen from s/v Panta Rhei and Bob and Sherry on s/v Ponderosa.
The food was excellent and the entertainment outstanding. We had a blast and another fantastic evening with good friends in beautiful Mexico.
Very few marinas offer potable water. We are therefore forced to buy water in bottles of 5 gallons. It is cumbersome and over time expensive at 20 pesos per bottle in most places. We easily use 20 bottles per week.
We ran into a water purification store the other day, and saw this wonderful system used in most Mexican homes, to satisfy their potable water needs.
The system is simple and 100% effective. There are three filters, one 5 micron and two charcoal. The final stage is a UV light chamber, which kills 100% of biological matter. The result is pure water at low cost.